Leadership Qualities

Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Statement of Leadership Qualities

The Thomas Jefferson School of Law seeks a new President and Dean. The President and Dean must possess integrity and high academic and personal standards, be energetic and collaborative in the pursuit of excellence, and be enthusiastic about the Law School’s values and mission. In addition, the President and Dean will inspire, work with, and lead the community during a time of great opportunity and significant challenges for law schools nationwide. Further, the President and Dean will build and convey a shared vision for advancing the Law School’s educational and scholarly missions while managing and developing a dynamic and maturing institution of higher education.

The ideal candidate will have experience and expertise leading and developing legal academic institutions, overseeing large and intricate budgets, managing multiple and complex institutional projects, cultivating and supporting diverse and dynamic faculty and staff, encouraging a culture of scholarship and excellent teaching, catalyzing an educational culture conducive to developing excellent law students and law graduates, fundraising from diverse sources, and communicating with accrediting organizations and other important institutions in legal education. She or he will bring the academic and entrepreneurial expertise and insight to engage with the unique opportunities and challenges facing the Law School. The successful candidate will also satisfy the Law School’s criteria for appointment with tenure. The Dean serves as the President and chief academic officer of the School, responsible for reporting to the Board of Trustees (“Board”).

The professional qualities sought for the President and Dean are as follows:

  Academic Leader committed to a high quality legal institution offering Juris Doctor and advanced degrees. The candidate should be broadly familiar with assessment strategies appropriate to legal education and bring an outstanding record of academic achievement commensurate with the mission and highest academic goals of the Law School. In particular, the President and Dean must respect the qualities of outstanding teaching and scholarship and their application to legal education. The President and Dean should assist the Law School in establishing an effective balance between programs and courses which generate enrollments and those necessary to maintain integrity of the JD curriculum. The President and Dean shall collaborate with faculty and staff to manage and develop an outstanding institution of legal education, serving more than 600 diverse and engaged law students, encompassing:

  • J.D., LL.M, J.S.M., J.S.D., and joint J.D.-M.B.A. programs;
  • Full-time, part-time, day, evening, and online programs;
  • An extensive academic support program;
  • An extensive in-house bar-preparation program;
  • Clinical programs in Veterans Legal Assistance, Small Business Law, and Mediation;
  • Academic Centers for Law and Social Justice, Global Legal Studies, Law and Intellectual Property, Criminal Law and Policy, and Sports Law and Policy;
  • Student fellowship programs in Intellectual Property, Criminal Law, and Sports Law;
  • Summer study-abroad programs in Nice, France and Hangzhou, China;
  • The Center for Solo Practitioners (for new graduates entering practice); and  
  • Other legal educational initiatives designed to prepare graduates for the practice of law.

          Effective Leader and Administrator who has demonstrated the ability to manage a law school facing issues as complex as those facing Thomas Jefferson School of Law. The President and Dean must be of the highest integrity. She or he should be particularly skilled in budgeting and fiscal management and able to use the Law School's current and expected future financial health to develop and encourage new educational ventures. The successful candidate must be capable of managing a complex multi-million dollar budget, involving significant financial contracts in a time of significant changes to the national economy, the legal profession, and the Law School. As leader of an independent law school, the President and Dean should have the expertise and entrepreneurial skills to foster its growing reputation through creative program development and vigorous engagement with the community. She or he must be decisive with good judgment, and have the ability to select excellent faculty and staff and to delegate and balance administrative responsibilities. The President and Dean must establish and maintain an open and transparent relationship with the Board by supporting the Board’s role and authority, providing regular reports to the Board and working with the Board to develop and bring to fruition a long range plan for the Law School. The President and Dean should also maintain an open and transparent relationship with faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

          Resource Developer who has demonstrated knowledge of, and substantial prior experience with, fundraising and resource acquisition. For the future health of the Law School, the President and Dean will rely on a combination of strong financial management of current operations, cultivation of local resources and the development of a larger base of donors, including alumni. The President and Dean will be expected to provide leadership and direction in this area and should consider it an area requiring a high degree of personal involvement.

          Evaluator and Planner committed to the rigorous completion of the current strategic plan and able to develop details for its implementation, while simultaneously advancing the aims of the plan into the next phase of development. The successful candidate must be capable of establishing procedures for a continuous planning process and development of programs, including those with the Law School’s associated institutions.

          Community Developer committed to the development of strong internal and external communities. The President and Dean should be willing to be involved in the community and be able to build bridges between external and internal communities. Such involvement should be an integral part of his or her past experience. The President and Dean should value the Law School's alumni as a special element of the campus community and seek to engender an even greater involvement of the alumni with the Law School’s future.

                Human Relations Developer who has excellent interpersonal skills and is an engaging community builder.  The President and Dean should be comfortable with a high degree of personal interaction with the campus and all its constituent groups: faculty, students, staff, supporters, alumni and trustees. The President and Dean should encourage high standards and high performance from all members of the campus community, creating incentives and encouragement to help produce those results.

Download a printable PDF file of the TJSL Statement of Leadership Qualities.